Iranian powerhouse Mohammadreza Chiyaneh is known for his aggressive approach in kabaddi. After entering the spotlight that comes with Pro Kabaddi League, Chiyaneh has proven himself as one of the most fearless kabaddi players that the game has ever produced and currently boasts 309 points - 272 of which are tackle points.

Born on May 14 in Iran, Chiyaneh began playing kabaddi when he was 12. Although he was initially mostly interested in Iran’s national sport wrestling and volleyball, Chiyaneh’s sporting destiny was completely altered after one of his friends who he used to play football with introduced him to kabaddi.

As a kid, Chiyaneh was amazed at seeing the types of tackles that were executed in kabaddi and as someone who had grown up with a passion for the contact sport of wrestling, the Iranian all-rounder was particularly impressed with the fact that there weren't many rules and restrictions in kabaddi.

Not everyone was as enthused as Chiyaneh though when it came to his growing love and passion for kabaddi. His father especially was far from impressed.

Convincing his father to take up kabaddi as a sport

Chiyaneh’s father was a professional footballer in the Iranian league and initially, it was difficult for the talented all-rounder to convince his dad to take up kabaddi as a sport. 

His father felt that kabaddi was a dangerous sport due to the amount of contact involved in the game but Chiyaneh eventually managed to get his father’s backing after showcasing his talent to his dad during practice. 

After receiving the stamp of approval to pursue a career in kabaddi, Mohammadreza Chiyaneh continuously improved as a player and in 2018, he was picked to be a part of the Iran kabaddi league having grabbed the attention of his idol and Iran's national coach Gholamreza Mazandarani.

The young prodigy, in fact, made it to Iran's squad for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta but couldn't don the national jersey due to an error in his accreditation. A few years later, Mohammadreza Chiayaneh was picked as the skipper of Iran for the Asian Kabaddi Championship in 2023 and he led his side from the front, bagging the silver medal.

Chiyaneh was also a part of the gold medal-winning Iran team in the first edition of the Junior World Kabaddi Championship in 2019. Even before his PKL debut in 2021, Chiyaneh was widely considered a star in the making.

Rising through the ranks

The Iranian all-rounder was in demand when he went under the hammer at the PKL 8 Player Auction. He became the most expensive foreign player at the Player Auction after he was sold for INR 31 lakh to Patna Pirates.

Unlike most other talents, Chiyaneh didn’t take much time to adjust to the demands of PKL and hit the ground running by bagging a High 5 in only his second Pro Kabaddi match with seven tackle points against U.P. Yoddhas.

Though his team couldn’t clinch the PKL Season 8 trophy, he created history by scoring the most tackle points (89) by a debutant. He also won the top Defender of the Season award for his defensive excellence.

A standout player for Patna Pirates, he was retained by the franchise for the following campaign and continued to impress by scoring 84 tackle points over the course of the season, including some unforgettable individual performances. 

Season 9 saw him etch his name into the records book after he executed eight Super Tackles in a game against Dabang Delhi K.C. - the most any player has ever managed in a single game in PKL history.

Becoming champions with the Paltan

Now an established star with multiple teams vying for his signature, Chiyaneh became a headline maker at the Season 10 Player Auction.

He was sold to Puneri Paltan in the Player Auction for INR 2.35 crore, making him the costliest foreign player in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League.

Once the season got underway, Chiyaneh lived up to the expectations of the Paltan’s coach BC Ramesh and dominated the mat with his aggressive defensive style. He managed to shackle raiders regularly and was even more dominant than ever before in what was his third PKL season.

Chiyaneh went on to play a key role in Puneri Paltan’s success as they lifted their maiden PKL title. He amassed 99 tackle points in the Season 10 campaign and was adjudged the Best Defender of the Season once again.

One of the faces of Pro Kabaddi and an idol to youngsters back home in Iran, Chiyaneh’s approach and prowess as a defender and at times even a raider has made him an inspiration to millions.

Still a relatively young player, Chiyaneh is only likely to get even better with the passage of time and became one of the all-time greats in the game before calling time on his nascent career so far.

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